Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thankful for Health

On Thanksgiving Thursday, the big girls and I ran in our local Turkey Trot.  Us and about 7000 others!  We met friends out there and had a great time.  Not to mention all, of us had great runs.  

The big girls completed a 5K.  The picture below is Nature Girl's back.  She is in the yellow.

These two are of Little Mama.  If you look close at the picture above, you will see a super sweet smile!

The three runners.  I had just completed my first 10K.

The three older kids have all been training with me as I prepare for my half marathon.  The girls run and walk.  Usually by themselves.  And Boop will go with me when I walk for an hour.  

I am super proud of them and their desires to be active.  I will continue to train and they will continue to be encouraging.

It really was a great way to start our day of thanksgiving.  Thankful for health and beautiful weather, family and friends . . . 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thankful for Hope

This past Tuesday I had to do one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life so far.  A deputy on my husband's shift was shot to death by a man who hated government and law enforcement and first responders.  My husband was on scene but not part of the ambush.  I went with my husband to the funeral.

Because the deputy was on my husband's shift, his shift was treated as part of the family.  All of the deputies on the shift met in a parking lot before heading, together, in their patrol cars, to the church.  It was rainy and gloomy.  I sat in his patrol car as I watched grown men, weighted down with bullet proof vests and 20 pound gun belts, with red rimmed eyes hug each other, asking "Are you OK?", "How are you doing?" Grief so visible.  It was surreal.  Almost like a movie.

The phone calls from my husband the day of the shooting provoked so many emotions in me, I can't even begin to describe them.  I confess, most days, I don't think about what he does.  I think if I dwell on it for too long, I would probably go slightly crazy.  There have been times when my mind has gone there.  The times when I try to call him and hours go by and I don't hear from him.  The time I answered the phone only to hear that he had been in a shoot out but was unharmed.  The time when there was a knock on the door and all I could see was a green law enforcement uniform on the other side.

Our life is different.  I get phone calls from him when he hears a gray van has been in an accident.  We are super protective of our kids.  There are places we are just are not able to go.  It is OK.  It is a small sacrifice to give him, me, peace of mind.

I was a mess Tuesday morning.  But, as we approached the church I was encouraged by the outpouring of law enforcement and first responders.  They filled the church.  Two thousand strong including friends and family.  I was even more encouraged by the service it self.  The preacher was retired law enforcement so he got it.  He understood the sacrifices made by these men and women and their families.  And was able connect with the majority of people in attendance.  To share an eternal hope.

He said that the greatest gift that the fallen deputy could give his wife was the guarantee she would some day see him in Heaven.  A number of years ago he had accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.  He acknowledge that Jesus lived a sinless life, He was sacrificed on the cross for our sins, died, was buried and rose again.  And is now sitting at the right hand of the Father.  So is the fallen deputy.  What a gift to his wife and kids!

She was the picture of this hope.  All. Day. Long.  I watched her.  Amazed by her peace.  She was gracious and loving and abundant with hugs for all.  I even saw her laugh!  She knew.  She knew.  She knew there will be hard days.  But, she knew this life was temporary.  She knew she would miss him terribly.  For as long as she is on this earth.  But she knew she would see him again some day.

It gave me such hope to watch her.  She was faith in action.  Her life, his life has affected thousands.  Affected thousands for the loving, saving, grace of Christ!

There are no guarantees in this life.  There will be great sorrow.  But there is also great joy.  And there is an abounding peace in those who have trusted Christ as their Savior.  I believe it with all my heart and soul.  And God has aloud me to see it with my very own eyes.

Thank you Chris and Erika Smith for sharing your love of Christ.  And a hope that is eternal.  At the most sorrowful time in your life . . .

(Pictures from the Law Enforcement Procession from the church to the gravesite.  I have heard there were 700 cars, 20 miles long and traffic was at a stand still for 45 minutes.  The streets and interstate overpasses had people saluting, holding flags, saying "thank you.")

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Are You Ready for Some Football??

What is a dad to do when he has two tickets to one of the biggest games of the season?  And four kids?  And one wife?  We agonized for over a week about which kid would be able to go.  Of course, I could have gone.  But, going to the games isn't for me anymore.  I like the comforts of my own house where I can scream and yell and cheer on the team with my family.

This was a great opportunity and it came down to reverse birth order.  Yup, that's right.  Reverse birth order.  Boop had been to a game with daddy the year before.  So, it only made sense for Little Mama to go.  Which worked out pretty well.  She was willing to pay her siblings money that she has been saving for a possible missions trip in order to go!  She wanted to go that bad.

Boop and Nature Girl were good sports.  They didn't whine or complain at all!  We spent the whole night watching the game on the TV trying to find them.  Sissy was at the game and able to find them and hang out a little bit at half time.  And, they saw a bunch of kids from our church Youth Group selling peanuts there.

It was one of the most exciting games.  Ever.  So glad my Little Mama and her daddy got to share it together. . . . 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Book Club - Farmer Boy

The past few weeks we have been reading Farmer Boy.  Boop and EG are really enjoying it.  I try to read about a chapter a day and they usually ask for more.  There are so many interesting chores etc. in the book. Like making candy and ice cream and butter.  Or storing food.  Things, nowadays, we take for granted.

A few weeks ago, while we were reading the book, we ran across the chapter where the author describes how a farm family back in the 1800s would keep ice frozen throughout the summer.  They go to a frozen over lake, cut out chunks of ice and then place it in an ice house and pack it hard with sawdust.  And, supposedly, it would keep ice frozen throughout the summer.

So, I got this great idea for book club to give it a try.  The night before book club, hubby sawed some wood so we could get a bunch of sawdust.  The next morning we got a container, placed sawdust on the bottom of the container, placed some ice in the container and packed a bunch of sawdust around it.  We filled the container over the top so when the top was place on, it packed the sawdust down even more.

Then we took it to the park during lunch time and book club time.  After lunch and presentations, we unpacked the ice.  And it was still frozen.  Not the least bit melted.  The sawdust was not at all moist.  I really had been doubtful that it would work.  But it did!  I realize this was just a couple of hours but I was amazed but the outcome.  As were the kids.

We had another family rig up a plastic glove and a bucket and they demonstrated how a cow is milked.  The kids had a blast doing that!  The ended up with milk everywhere.  It was fun to recreate how some of the chores were done back then.  A new appreciation for a freeze and gallon of milk!

I am thinking we might try making butter next. . . .

Sawdust in the bottom of the container.

Ice in the container.

Container packed full of sawdust.

After we checked if it had melted, we took the sawdust covered piece of ice out and let it melt in the sun.